First, off the subject, a little funny story for Monday. Apparently Halloween has come early to my house this year. Let me explain. We have a very sweet neighbor who gives out candy to all the school kids walking home on Thursdays. Of course my youngest felt left out so her sweet sister Emma took her over to get some too. Apparently they figured if they could get candy on Thursday why not Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, you get the picture. I apologized to my neighbor for the repeated intrusions but thankfully she just laughed and said it was fine. I had to sit my kids down for a little talk about how it isn't polite to keep asking her for candy everyday.
Today the kids were happily playing in the garage and when it was time for school I noticed they had candy! I asked where they got the candy from and they said, the neighbor, and I said I thought we talked about not going over there everyday, and Emma said oh, not her, the other neighbor to which I replied how did you get candy from them and she said oh, we just knocked on the door and asked! Goodness. What am I going to do?
Well, onto the recipe for today. After the successful homemade mac and cheese,I spotted a similar recipe in the same book for Chili Mac. I've actually never tasted it but what caught my eye was the variation that called for corn, cilantro and diced green chilies! Yum! And as if that wasn't convincing enough it a nice, healthy layer of melted cheese. It was done in about 30 minutes and thanks to the gooey cheese, the little kiddies couldn't even detect the green chilies and gobbled it right up.
Cheesy Chili Mac with Corn and Green Chiles
slightly adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes
**If you want a traditional chili mac, omit the corn, chiles and cilantro**
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 tbsp chili powder (you can reduce this to 3/4 tbsp. if you're worried about too much heat)
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb. ground beef ( the original recipe calls for 90% lean)
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups water
8 oz. (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni or 2 1/2 cups small shells
1 8 oz pkg. (2 cups) shredded Mexican cheese blend **I used Colby cheddar**
ground black pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 4.5 oz can diced green chilies
2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring often until softened 5-7 minutes. Stir in garlic, brown sugar, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the beef and cook until lightly browned and no longer pink. Drain grease if necessary.
Stir in the water and tomato sauce, then add the pasta. Cover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat to maintain a vigorous simmer until pasta is tender, about 9-12 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in 1 cup of the cheese, corn, green chilies, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese over top, cover , and let stand off heat until cheese melts. Serves 6.
*If you want to kick it up a notch add 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes along with the chili powder*
Posted by: Sallie
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